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Pimpernel Smith

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I'm firing one of the heads of one of my departments. It's the first person I'm firing myself in this company who didn't leave or had to leave because we ran out of money on a project. I can't remember every single person I sent packing anymore but this is the 5th team in 3 countries and by my standards of turning over 40 to 50 percent of the staff before the operation is fixed I am quite behind at more than 7 months on the job.

This is the first piece of a series of dominoes. I've always been characterized and described as a heartless corporate bastard but my patience has worn thin and even though I'm planning for the XXth immediate walk out the door termination it is something that weighs on me every time I make this type of decision.
If you tried that tactic over here, you'd be the one getting sacked.

In the dynamic job market of the EU zone a staff position trumps everything. A golden ticket for organisational abuse. You have zero chance of getting rid without resorting to expensive lawyers looking to maximize their hourly costs on the ''negotiation'' ticket - what's a couple of hundred thousand here or there? - or you may get lucky with the help of the Ethics Committee.
 

Fwiffo

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I just made my first hire onto my team. I think I made a good choice, but it’s government so if I’m wrong it’s going to be hard getting rid of them once the 6 month probation is done.
Is it a her?
 

Fwiffo

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If you tried that tactic over here, you'd be the one getting sacked.

In the dynamic job market of the EU zone a staff position trumps everything. A golden ticket for organisational abuse. You have zero chance of getting rid without resorting to expensive lawyers looking to maximize their hourly costs on the ''negotiation'' ticket - what's a couple of hundred thousand here or there? - or you may get lucky with the help of the Ethics Committee.
We made a number of the staff redundant when I was in London. One funny part was when they challenged it the wanker brought his mother in to give a testimonial. I left after 18 months so I didn't know the repercussions.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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We made a number of the staff redundant when I was in London. One funny part was when they challenged it the wanker brought his mother in to give a testimonial. I left after 18 months so I didn't know the repercussions.
That kind of stunt wouldn't have washed in the old England before the EU got hold of the employment laws. No one would have dared.

An associate of mine here, when announced he was going through the redundancy process, played them and won on the ticket that he would never work again on account he held no university, college, or technical qualification and couldn't speak Dutch and so, he would be completely unemployable in the Dutch job market. He's still there working or pretending to work.
 

Fwiffo

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That kind of stunt wouldn't have washed in the old England before the EU got hold of the employment laws. No one would have dared.

An associate of mine here, when announced he was going through the redundancy process, played them and won on the ticket that he would never work again on account he held no university, college, or technical qualification and couldn't speak Dutch and so, he would be completely unemployable in the Dutch job market. He's still there working or pretending to work.
You keep bringing cases of these people up. Honestly if someone paid me what they paid me now to pretend to work because I got banished into corporate exile I would simply quit. I'd go mental. My father spoke of a director who was transferred to a department of no one and given a secretary ages ago. This was the part of the company you were sent to when you were put out to pasture. He hung on for a year or two doing bugger all. It reminds me a bit of where Roger Sterling ended up in Mad Men; the floor of geriatric executives.

Even if you were to live through some period of this purgatory you emerge out of it less fit and able to compete in the workforce so what's the point except you earned some easy cash.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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You keep bringing cases of these people up. Honestly if someone paid me what they paid me now to pretend to work because I got banished into corporate exile I would simply quit. I'd go mental. My father spoke of a director who was transferred to a department of no one and given a secretary ages ago. This was the part of the company you were sent to when you were put out to pasture. He hung on for a year or two doing bugger all. It reminds me a bit of where Roger Sterling ended up in Mad Men; the floor of geriatric executives.

Even if you were to live through some period of this purgatory you emerge out of it less fit and able to compete in the workforce so what's the point except you earned some easy cash.
But these people I bring up are not point men, or possessed by a sense of urgency to get ahead or pride in their profession. These are the plodders and do the bare minimums who fit-in to the corporate scheme to allow others to leap-frog ahead of them. They expect to rewarded in any case. Under certain processes and protected by being staff and legislation they can in the end hold more sway and power than the able.
 

Fwiffo

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But these people I bring up are not point men, or possessed by a sense of urgency to get ahead or pride in their profession. These are the plodders and do the bare minimums who fit-in to the corporate scheme to allow others to leap-frog ahead of them. They expect to rewarded in any case. Under certain processes and protected by being staff and legislation they can in the end hold more sway and power than the able.
What about status, self-worth and respect for themselves?
 

Fwiffo

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I have this management consultant doing a review of my organisation. I am positive one of the things he will cite is I don't work with staff 2 or 3 levels down. Hopefully he doesn't write me up like the UK director after I left London - I only speak to my direct reports and if you need to speak to me, speak through them.

Honestly I hope he doesn't paint me as a condescending toff.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I have this management consultant doing a review of my organisation. I am positive one of the things he will cite is I don't work with staff 2 or 3 levels down. Hopefully he doesn't write me up like the UK director after I left London - I only speak to my direct reports and if you need to speak to me, speak through them.

Honestly I hope he doesn't paint me as a condescending toff.
In these enlightened times you may well be painted as a reactionary force of male privilege. Also white if you are indeed, white. Add them all together and you need to start pointing to some Alberta pipeline welder as the source of all white male privilege in Canada.

Whilst I agree with the adage that you cannot run with the fox and hounds, codes of ethical business practices alone, mean you should always be approachable to anyone who has concerns or has stumbled upon something not quite legitimate.

I say hello to everyone and will engage with small talk with all who work in the organisation from the cleaner to the SME's. Of course, in mega-organisations where there are lots of hungry graduates looking to get ahead and perhaps at the expense of their line manager, I would never ever be alone with them for more than a few seconds in case they launched any kind of sexual harassment case against me.
 

Journeyman

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II am positive one of the things he will cite is I don't work with staff 2 or 3 levels down. Hopefully he doesn't write me up like the UK director after I left London - I only speak to my direct reports and if you need to speak to me, speak through them.
The organisation I previously worked for had about 35,000 staff. I worked in a smaller area, albeit with a geographically dispersed team, that was mainly comprised of mid-level staff. We hardly ever spoke directly with our General Manager (two levels above us), let alone with our National Manager (three levels above us, two levels below the head of the organisation). Every year or two there would be an all-staff survey and the organisation always rated very poorly for things such as trust in management, communication etc. As a result, every year or two there would be a flurry of visits from the GM or NM to various sites so as to "touch base" and "get some 180 degree feedback" or some similar stuff.

The organisation I work in now is much, much smaller - less than 300 people. The difference is remarkable - people two or three levels below me will walk into the GM's office to discuss work (so will freely talk with someone 5-6 levels above them in the structure), and our NM comes to visit our site every month or two and takes the time to chat with each of us. It's not surprising that, as a result, staff engagement and satisfaction is far, far higher.
 

Fwiffo

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My office door is always open. I insist on it. I only close it when my boss rings me on my mobile and I put speaker phone on so I don't disturb the staff out there.

I wear a suit and tie in an office where business casual is dressy so I come off as intimidating to the staff. To be honest some of the individual contributors I have taken on trips or hit the bar and we develop a rapport. The ones I haven't bonded with I don't normally talk to them on a day to day basis but if there's a crisis I personally step in and lead them. Of course my engagement surveys say they've lost connection to the executives and the strategy of the firm.
 

Pimpernel Smith

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I wear a suit and tie in an office where business casual is dressy so I come off as intimidating to the staff.
If you wear a white shirts, try blue shirts instead. I notice that blue shirts give off a more warmth and empathic vibe. Stark white shirts good for commercial negotiations or when you want to strike fear into a rival.
 

Fwiffo

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I change my suits, shirts and ties based on what I'm doing that day. Official executive team meetings, presentations and what not and I will go with my usual dark suit, white shirt, dark tie. Blue shirts I reserve for I'm in meetings with people in my own department, it's Friday or I'm not in general going to anything high profile. I used to have patterned shirts but as I've been on and off the road with a limited number of suits at my disposal I find plain white and various plain blue are the easiest to pair up.

Perhaps a little OCD, I plan all of it on the Sunday before the week. It's even more imperative now that I travel every week for work.
 
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